My name is Shaghayegh (Shad) Moalemzadeh Ansari, 28 years old, born and grew up in Kerman, Iran and now living in Tucson, AZ. I am writing to you to share our story of last 11-12 months and how Travel Ban, all versions of it affected our lives.
I moved to US 4 years ago with 100 percent support of my family, especially my Dad who's dream has been always being coming to US, because he loved this country so much and he believed that US is one of the places on earth where you can achieve what you deserve and try for!
I did it despite of all difficulties we faced in Iran economically that time, and my family sacrificed many dreams to help me. I remember my elder brother sold his gold coins for me, I remember my Mom gave me her gold chain at the airport, I remember my elder sister gave me her savings, I remember my Dad crying when we were doing Skype video calls, because he loved us more than himself and it was so hard for him to not see us everyday at home.
I finally did it, and on January 12th 2017, I've got my green card and I knew that moment all I wanted is being with my family more, I wanted to bring my Dad for a visit to see where he has been dreaming to see since he was at my age! But Travel Ban version 1 announced and we were not sure if it will be the best idea, so I decided to buy a ticket and go to see them after almost 2 years.
I arrived on March 18th 2017, and we were so happy to be with each other for Persian New Year that I missed for last 3 years, even still Iranians were not sure if it is ok for them to leave US. As we all do not know what will happen next, doctors diagnosed my Dad with Stage 4 Brain Cancer named Glioblastoma Multiforme known as GBM ten days after I arrived, 5 days after new year!
We were informed that we might not have much time with him, so I decided to stay there for his surgery and treatments which I am so grateful to be granted that chance, because, Bourn Companies in Tucson as my employer, supported me to stay with my family as much as my family and I would need.
During his Radiotherapy in May, we've got the best possible news while we were facing hard days that my sister's fiance won Diversity Visa Lottery! You can not imagine how happy my dad was, and how my sister got more hope in her life knowing that they may have a chance to live with me in US despite of what would happen later, because we all knew my Dad's cancer does not have a cure! So they got married sooner than what they planed in Tehran where we were staying for my dad's treatment, because he wanted to signed their marriage certification as a witness!!
After all, my dad got worse during next 7 months, I had to come back because I know I should be the bonafide relationship waiver for my sister’s immigration case because of Travel Ban 2, so it was better for me being in US, continue to live and work.
They've received their embassy interview letter for Dec 5th 2017 at US Embassy at Yerevan,and with all our difficult situation at home, taking care of my dad who was not functioning more than 40-30 percent at that time, they went to get their interview done.
Three hours to their interview for 9 AM, Armenia Time on Dec 5th 2017, US Supreme Court announced that Travel Ban 3 can be fully effected!! Now imagine how our lives turned to be disappointed, helpless and stressed since then. I was not as much happy for myself as I was for my sister, because I knew she needed that light at the darkest time of her life more than anyone else does! But they did not get their visas as their case is required an Administration Process which takes 60-90 days or even more! So at the end they received an email from Embassy that under Presidential Proclamation 9645 they have rejected and we have to wait to see what will happen at the end. But what if they won't be able to have their visas by Sep 30 2018 which is the deadline for DV Lottery visas after all. What if all this hopes will be taken from them at the end.
Right now that I am writing this to you, I heard my Dad got worse and maybe so close to the time that we should say farewells to him, and I am getting ready to go to Iran. But all I want from God is give me a chance to bring my Mom to US with me after all hard times she went through. She and my Dad are my true heroes, and if I will be able to do something for this country some day, it is all because of them whom have been teaching us to be strong, kind, help humans as much as we can, and in one word be a good and useful person for our society and our families!
I am begging you to help us free our parents and our families from Travel Ban, and help me do not lose what I lost with my Dad, so I will be able to get a Visa for my family, especially my Mom to come to US and see my life here, so she can be proud of all hers and my Dad's sacrifices.
I've been always an optimistic person who believes in this country, and I am so proud to call myself an Iranian-American! I believe in this country not because of governments who come and go, I believe in this country because of its spirit of freedom and welcoming, its people and its foundations. I am still hopeful that I can make my Dad's last and only dream come true, and have my family see this country.